Statement on release of Foundations for Peace: Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security – 2023 to 2029

March 28, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, along with eleven other federal Cabinet ministers*, today issued the following statement:

“Gender equality is a fundamental human right. The facts are also clear: it is a foundation of a more peaceful world. Where gender equality is lacking, states are almost twice as likely to be unstable and more than three times as likely to have a government that is autocratic and corrupt. Peace agreements, meanwhile, are far more likely to endure when women—in all their diversity—are meaningfully involved in negotiating them.

“Women today face an increasingly fraught international security environment, including their deliberate and ongoing exclusion from peace negotiations, rising violence against them, rollbacks of their rights and other challenges.

“This is the context in which Canada is today releasing Foundations for Peace, its third national action plan on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. Building on the positive progress of recent years, while recognizing the growing needs in the current geopolitical context, this 6-year strategy reflects Canada’s clear-eyed understanding of the positive impacts of women’s full and meaningful participation in building global peace and security. A cornerstone of Canada’s feminist foreign policy, this comprehensive action plan is the blueprint for our country’s leadership on the WPS agenda. It also demonstrates Canada’s commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“Foundations for Peace recognizes that much has changed in our world since the launch of Canada’s previous action plan in 2017. We are seeing increases in online hate and aggression toward women and girls, including those involved in peacebuilding and defending human rights here at home and abroad. The world is also seeing a rise in climate emergencies, cyber threats, a growing anti-gender movement, economic insecurity, forced displacement, humanitarian crises and more, all of which disproportionately affect women and girls. Women continue to be targets of gender-based violence and are largely neglected as essential partners for peace, even though they are often at the forefront of communities’ efforts to prevent and respond to these crises. Those who are neglected often include Indigenous women, young women, ethnic-minority women, women with disabilities and two-spirit and gender-diverse people, whose collective leadership is essential to achieving sustainable peace and security for all. 

“Foundations for Peace reflects input from civil society, Indigenous Peoples and women on the front lines of conflict around the world. We are profoundly grateful to them all for their guidance on the action plan and their dedication to advancing the WPS agenda in Canada and abroad. No fewer than ten federal partners were involved in creating the action plan and are responsible for delivering on it. We continue to work toward a cross-government approach, with Veterans Affairs Canada having joined as our most recent partner. The action plan includes a significant domestic focus and aligns with other national policies and plans. It also pays close attention to the intersections of complex challenges such as climate change and online attacks. A new reporting and evaluation framework will also enhance transparency and help demonstrate the impact of this important work.

“Across the globe, despite significant and growing obstacles, women in all their diversity are courageously—and effectively—standing up for peace, security and a fairer and more prosperous world. Canada stands with them, renews its engagement and commits, through this action plan, to global leadership on this critical priority.”

*This statement is supported by:

  • The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
  • The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence
  • The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services
  • The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development
  • The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
  • The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs
  • The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
  • The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development
  • The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
  • The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs
  • The Honourable Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

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